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Cell Mol Life Sci. 2004 Apr;61(7-8):911-29.

MAGUKs in synapse assembly and function: an emerging view.

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Departmentof Psychiatry and Behavior Sciences, Nancy Friend Pritzker Laboratory, Stanford University, 1200 Welch Rd., Palo Alto, California 94304-5485, USA.


Neuronal morphogenesis, synaptogenesis and synaptic plasticity are fundamental aspects of nervous system development. Much of our current understanding of how each of these processes contributes to the establishment and maintenance of neural circuitry has come from a molecular description of specific classes of key molecules. With regard to synapse assembly and function, a family of membrane-associated guanylate kinase homologs (MAGUKs) have emerged as central organizers of multicomponent protein signaling complexes. In particular MAGUKs appear to play fundamental roles in the transport, anchoring and signaling of specific subclasses of synaptic receptors and ion channels. In this review, we will focus on the role that subfamilies of MAGUKs play during the formation, maintenance and plasticity of the vertebrate central nervous system glutamatergic synapse.

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